September 25, 2007

Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation and Partners Complete 66 Conservation Projects with a Value of Nearly $2 million in Michigan

(September 25, 2007) Missoula, MT — The Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation announced it will fund six new conservation projects throughout Michigan this year that will make a critical addition to the organization’s efforts to conserve and enhance habitat for elk and other wildlife.

The Elk Foundation will support this year’s projects with grants and partner funding valued at more than $63,000. During its history in Michigan, the Elk Foundation has permanently protected or enhanced more than 1,000 acres of wildlife habitat and has completed 66 projects with a combined value of nearly $2 million. In addition, the organization has sponsored conservation education programs throughout the state.

“We’re thrilled to be able to help accomplish such important and necessary habitat improvement projects to permanently protect critical wildlife habitat and to help educate as many people as possible about the need for wildlife conservation,” said Chris Dundon, Michigan Regional Director for the Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation.

“Our natural resources are an important part of our high quality of life here and all of us at the Elk Foundation applaud the efforts of our hard-working volunteers in Michigan who raise the funds and donate their time and energy to get this important work accomplished,” he said.

One of the Elk Foundation’s recent succeses came to a close near Atlanta, Michigan recently.  A 40-acre parcel of undeveloped land within the Atlanta Management Unit and the heart of Michigan elk country, called the Rattlesnake Creek Property, was added to the state forest and is now open for public use.

The Elk Foundation purchased the property from its previous owners because of the quality of its wildlife habitat, undeveloped wetlands, and regular use by wild elk. The property falls between the Black River and Rattlesnake Creek, both of which are considered outstanding brook trout fisheries.

Following are projects underway this year in Michigan that are funded by the recent grants from the Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation:

• Osceola County –The Elk Foundation will fund a program in 2007 called Children Charters that will introduce youth and their families, and disabled individuals to hunting, fishing, wildlife viewing and conservation. Volunteers from the program will work together to enhance 400 acres of wildlife habitat by seeding and fertilizing the land and will participate in activities such as a shed antler hunt and elk viewing.

• Ostego, Montmorency, Cheboygan, and Presque Isles Counties – The Elk Foundation is funding and sponsoring meetings for landowners who will discuss land management of critical wildlife habitat bordering the Pigeon River Country.  The project is part of the Pigeon River Habitat Initiative, consisting of 10 habitat projects covering 700 acres.

• Cheboygan County – The Elk Foundation will enhance 150 acres through mowing, fertilizing, seeding and planting to enhance the forage for elk and other wildlife on public land.

• Montmorency County – The Elk Foundation will partner with the Montmorency County Conservation Club to help hunters better understand the wildlife management needs of elk and deer.

• Statewide – The Elk Foundation has partnered with Michigan State University to develop an informational guide focusing on ecology and management of Michigan’s natural resources.

• Statewide – The Elk Foundation will fund the Archery in the Schools Program during the 2007-2008 school year in Michigan. Designed to introduce international-style target archery training to students in grades four-through-12, the program helps schools create after-school archery programs and school archery teams. The program is designed to create the next generation of target archers in Michigan.

About the Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation

Founded in 1984 and headquartered in Missoula, Montana, the Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation is a non-profit organization dedicated to ensuring the future of elk, other wildlife and their habitat. The Elk Foundation and its partners have permanently protected or enhanced more than  5 million acres of habitat –  an area more than twice the size of Yellowstone National Park. More than 500,000 acres previously closed to public are now open for hunting, fishing and other recreation as a result of the Elk Foundation’s work. The Elk Foundation has more than 150,000 members, a staff of 150 and 10,000 active volunteers. To help protect wild elk country or learn more about the Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation, visit www.elkfoundation.org or call 800-CALL-ELK.